Positioning American Society of Bariatric Surgeons

 

Positioning American Society of Bariatric Surgeons

 

Situation:

The American Society of Bariatric Surgeons (ASBS) was seeking to capitalize on the tremendous growth occurring within the bariatric surgery field. While the increase of bariatric surgeries in the mid-to-late 1990’s was a boon for surgeons, established surgeons sought to educate the public of the benefits and risks of surgery as a weight loss tool.

 

Methodology:

MGA’s bariatric surgery highlights include the 1996 launch of a public relations campaign for the Center for the Surgical Treatment of Obesity (CSTO), a bariatric surgery practice directed by Mal Fobi, M.D., based in Bellflower, Calif. The media relations campaign featured patients who weighed more than 400 lbs. MGA pitched their stories to their local print and electronic media featuring interviews with both the patient and Dr. Fobi.

In addition, MGA also promoted Dr. Milton Owens, the Coastal Center for Obesity as well as the “Pants Across America” campaign in conjunction with ASBS programs across the country. Bariatric surgery patients from across the United States sent in their largest pair of pants that was transformed into a huge quilt that was based on the AIDS quilt.

 

Results:

As a result of more than 150 television, radio, magazine and newspaper interviews about the Fobi Pouch procedure, Dr. Fobi’s surgical caseload increased 150 percent in the year 2000 from 1998. Media secured on behalf of Dr. Fobi and CSTO included CNN, CBS’s 48 Hours, ABC’s 20/20, New York Times, and multiple local television and newspaper stories.